Many Washington residents have inquired about where they can donate clothing and household goods so those affected by the flood can return to normalcy as soon as possible after the flood waters recede. Many community organizations, including the American Red Cross, are not accepting donations of individual items, such as food, clothing, furniture and cleaning supplies, because it is logistically impossible to distribute a wide variety of individual items in a meaningful and responsible way. Some donations, though well-intentioned, have hidden costs and pose many complications. You can, however, support your community by donating these items to an organization that is not participating in relief efforts and is equipped to put them to the best possible local use.
The best way to help those affected by this and other disasters is to make a financial contribution to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Monetary contributions enable organizations, like the American Red Cross, to purchase the most urgently needed items as close to the disaster site as possible. Purchasing near the disaster site ensures supplies get to those affected as quickly as possible, without delay and hefty transportation costs. And because communities hit by disasters generally experience significant economic loss, buying goods locally also helps to stimulate a weakened economy and support area businesses.
Monetary contributions can be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-Red Cross or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). You can also make a secure online credit card contribution by visiting: http://www.redcross.org.